What I’ve Been Doing This Week.

I’ve been doing a whole WHACK of harvesting this week and flying around like a chihuahua on speed trying to get things picked, covered up, protected from random frosts and given a few more weeks to produce. Also Thanksgiving is 1 week away and I still  have no idea whether I’m allowed to have it or not.

In an impressively wishy-washy statement, the Ontario provincial government has declared residents CAN ONLY HAVE THANKSGIVING DINNER WITH PEOPLE WITHIN THEIR OWN HOUSEHOLDS. Unless you live alone and want to visit your mom who also lives alone, then you can go and see her for Thanksgiving because mental health is important. Or if you have friends that you’ve spent time with the past few months because you don’t  have family, so they’re “like” family but only if those friends don’t have OTHER friends who may or may not have been in contact with someone with Coronavirus. 

To put it a little bit more simply; the government is drunk.

And not a good drunk.  It’s like a Peach schnapps drunk.

At the beginning of all of this we were given real rules. Like, don’t leave your freaking house unless it’s on fire, you’re on fire or you have just finished watching Tiger King and have become temporarily hysterical.

Now? Now we’re given the kind of directives that absolve the government of any real responsibility for fallout that might occur one way or the other: economic or health.

Taking the lead from my provincial government, I too am being wishy washy and haven’t committed to either having or not having Thanksgiving. Maybe I’ll get lucky and the weather will warm up and we can just have dinner safely outside.

Except there’s this …

That’s a great big hole where my massive century old maple tree used to be. It’s been Fargoed.  Sent to the big wood chipper in the sky.  I’ll have to put some boards across it until I buy replacement flagstone to put down.

Just days before, I had gone outside to replace the water in the water dish I leave outside for dogs and instead pivoted and ripped up part of my walkway to redo it.

This is how it ends up taking me a minimum of 17 hours to do anything. Ever. I did fill the water dish eventually.

Back to the harvesting, I dug up the sweet potatoes a week ago and ended up with just over 25 pounds of them from 6 large pots.

But now they have to cure to develop their sweetness (the starches will turn into sugars) and to slowly harden their skins so that it traps the moisture inside the sweet potato. That way they’ll store much longer than if you just threw them in a bin.

The flowers are realllyyyyy late this year in part because of the fact that it actually snowed on the first long weekend of this summer and then someone flipped a switch and we had blinding heat and drought for the rest of the summer.

This confused me, the plants, the pests and I’m guessing, the provincial government.

I’m still have a ton of red, yellow and hot peppers to pick which are protected from wind and frost by the thin layer of insect netting they have over them from the hinged hoop houses.

I still have the luffas to harvest and this weekend I covered them up at night to keep frost off of them so they have even just another week on the vines.

I have never had such a good crop of luffa. 

They’re everywhere and they’re big.

See that luffa sponge up top there? It’s close to drying out on the vine which in this climate is almost unheard of. 

What can I attribute this explosion of scrubbies to? Consistent watering, an incredibly hot summer and constantly explaining to the plant that my skin is getting old and crinkly.  Plants are very sympathetic.

I don’t have a lot of time left in my garden this year, especially if winter comes as hard and fast as summer did.

But until then, I’ll be tidying, planning, and cover cropping under the glow of a Peach Schnapps sky.


What I've Been Doing This Week.

Have a good remainder of your weekend!  


  1. Nicki Cleveland says:

    I currently live in Fargo, ND and love it used as a verb. Did you know you can pose by the woodchipper at our visitor center? Not like I’ve done that for Christmas cards or anything. Sure, ya betcha. It’s the best.
    Next year I will try to grow luffa as my kids think I’m joking about it. I love to prove them wrong!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  2. Kristina says:

    After harvest, I’m going to “Fargo” about 40 acres of walnuts. (And I’m tooootally using that term from now on, genius.) You are going to be soooo exfoliated by spring. Jelly.

  3. Marilyn Majalca says:

    Oh what happened to your maple tree? No more maple syrup!?!

  4. Leslie Russell says:

    Better still is the bars are open but you can’t have Thanksgiving. That’s how we do things here.

  5. Christine says:

    I cannot see the comments. This has been going on for a while, when I click on the comments it just reloads the same thing, this page. I can see it says load comments, I click on that, I get the comment page showing how many comments are posted so far but no comments. Is it a setting in my computer? Unfortunately if someone has a solution to this I won’t be able to see it!

  6. linda weber says:

    Very inspiring post! Maybe I can inspire you to have Thanksgiving outside (barring any rain). We did an early Thanksgiving last weekend outside with 3 tables for 3 separate households. Mind you the weather was unusually warm but we’re Canucks lol…pretend to be pioneers! I’m thinking of doing it for Christmas (brrrr)

  7. Mary W says:

    I just pulled some sweet potatoes and didn’t know they got sweeter once ‘cured’ so now what am I having for lunch. Wish it were that GORGEOUS looking pie. I went to the link but since it was closed, I clicked anyway – got the recipe and changed it to 40/60 like you said. Will wait patiently for your version next week – maybe. Your harvest looks amazing. I am still cutting okra -weird weather.

  8. Jody says:

    The photo of the vegetables in their outdoor humidor would make a great puzzle.

  9. Rebecca says:

    You have captured my Ontario frustrations perfectly!!!! I have no idea what we are really allowed/encouraged to do this month with Thanksgiving and Halloween. I want to comply but I also want clear guidance like we had back in the Spring. Not that we are doing a turkey din or anything anyway. I’m hours and hours from the hot spots but my job is restrictive in our movements with public safety in mind and I havnt been allowed 250 km from my house since March.

    Anyway, love the late harvest garden update. Those Lufa really are something else this year. As always, your post is hilarious, topical, and inspiring. It’s needed right now.

    Now I am going to go ‘Fargo’ a few of my own dead brush trees!!!

  10. Wendy says:

    Thanks for the update on what a royal f#^}$:p this government is in Ontario. I’m on my 5th strategy of giving Thanks someone. I also live alone, so that would be boring. I decided to ask the principal at school where my daughter teaches if we can rent a classroom for the day. That’s good for 30 people. 🤪

    • Dawn says:

      I’m not sure if they will be anything like our school but they aren’t letting “outside people” into the school. So no renting or using the facilities by outside organizations.

  11. Linda in Illinois says:

    Omgosh your photos of the gourds and the frickin sky are BEAUTIFUL!! Happy thanksgiving 🦃🍁🍽

  12. Penguin Chris says:

    Hey Karen. I don’t know how complicated it is, or if it’s even worth the effort for you, but is it possible that the “subscribe now” ad that pops up when you’re 3/4 of the way through a post, can be programmed to NOT pop up if you’re already subscribed? I always found it just mildly annoying. I liked that it didn’t pop up upon arrival, but I didn’t like that it shifted the page from where I was in my reading. And then did it again if I closed it. But now that you have these ads that are also popping up from the bottom every minute or so… I’m losing my mind just trying to finish reading a post in my allocated 1″ of free space.

    • Karen says:

      Hi. I haven’t changed anything with regards to ads or ad placement so that’s weird. I would LOVE to get rid of the subscribe now showing up for people who have already subscribed, and I’ve done everything possible for that to happen but for some reason it just won’t work. It’s a complication between two plugins not working properly together I think. If and/or when I change subscription notification services it should help. ~ karen!

  13. Paula Garner says:

    Karen- how do you cure your sweet potatoes when you live so far north? I thought they needed so many days at like 85F…I’m asking because I need to know. I’m currently curing winter squash under some greenhouse lights I made, but the rainy season is going to start on Friday (I live in Oregon) and I won’t be able to do it that way anymore as they won’t get warm enough and I have no other way to cure squash or sweet potatoes, so how are you going to cure your sweet potatoes?

    • Karen says:

      At the moment my sweet potatoes are inside that greenhouse you see. For the past week the conditions inside have been 80F with 85% humidity. So pretty much perfect. It’s cooler this week so I’ll bring them inside put them in a plastic bin with the lid on, but offset a bit so moisture can escape. I set them right beside a furnace vent or the fireplace. The conditions aren’t perfect but it does a fairly good job. ~ karen!

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